Buying health insurance is one of the most important things you can do as a working adult, as medical care in Singapore is notoriously high, and relying on MediShield Life could lead to some nasty surprises due to its many limits and exclusions.
AXA is one of the seven insurers offering integrated shield plans designed to supplement your existing MediShield Life coverage. Let’s see how good their AXA Shield plans are.
What are integrated shield plans?
Integrated shield plans are health insurance policies that are designed to work hand-in-hand with the MediShield Life coverage that Singaporeans and PRs already have.
Instead of duplicating the protection offered by MediShield Life, integrated shield plans act as a supplement, offering coverage in areas that MediShield Life does not and raising claim limits.
For instance, MediShield Life offers coverage for Class B2 or C wards at public/restructured hospitals, but not Class B1 or Class A wards at public/restructured hospital or standard wards at private hospitals. It also does not offer coverage for costs incurred before and after hospitalisation, which is worrying as these costs can sometimes exceed costs incurred while hospitalised.
That’s where integrated shield plans come in. They offer coverage for pre- and post-hospitalisation costs, higher class wards than Class B2 or C and other costs like ambulance fees.
AXA Shield integrated plan premiums
|AXA Shield||Access to||Annual premium*||Pre-hospitalisation cover||Post-hospitalisaton cover||Annual coverage limit|
|Plan A||Private hospitals||$310 (payable by Medisave) + $283 = $593||180 days||365 days||$1,000,000|
|Plan B||Class A hospitals||$310 (payable by Medisave) + $156 = $466||180 days||365 days||$550,000|
* For Singapore citizens aged 35
As you can see, you can use Medisave to pay for part of your integrated shield plan premiums. The remainder has to be paid out-of-pocket on an annual basis.
AXA Shield Plan A offers access to private hospital wards, while AXA Shield Plan B offers access to Class A wards in public/restructured hospitals.
AXA Shield Plan A is also one of the cheaper private hospital integrated shield plans out there, and offers very good value for money thanks to the generous 180-day pre-hospitalisation and 365 day post-hospitalisation cover.
Meanwhile, AXA Shield Plan B is considered relatively expensive compared to the other Class A plans, but is also one of the more generous in terms of pre- and post-hospitalisation cover.
AXA Shield additional riders and premiums
AXA Shield can be beefed up with the following rider in order to limit your deductible and co-insurance amounts.
- AXA Enhanced Care – Limits your co-insurance portion to 5% and your deductible to $0 when you use public/restructured hospitals or healthcare providers on AXA’s panel of specialists. For hospitals that do not fall into either category, your deductible is lowered to $1,500. Co-payment is capped at $3,000 per year. Also offers coverage for planned overseas medical treatment, emergency outpatient treatment due to an accident, fractures, dislocations and sports injuries, dengue, HFMD and food poisoning, ambulance and taxi charges, TCM and accommodation charges for immediate family.
How does AXA Shield supplement MediShield Life?
AXA Shield supplements MediShield Life by adding to its existing cover. For instance, MediShield Life limits you to Class B2 and Class C wards at public/restructured hospitals, but with AXA Shield Plan B, you’ll be able to stay in Class A wards at public/restructured hospitals, or private hospitals with Plan A.
Another important area of coverage is pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, which is not offered by MediShield Life. Tests leading up to a diagnosis can be very expensive, as can follow-up consultations and rehabilitation after you are discharged. These are all covered by AXA Shield provided they fall within the pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage periods.
With the AXA Enhanced Care rider, you can also receive coverage for planned overseas treatment, as well as a wide range of situations like emergency outpatient treatment (which would not usually be covered as it does not require an overnight hospital stay), fractures, dengue and food poisoning, as well as ambulance and taxi charges.
Should you get AXA Shield?
AXA Shield Plan A offers very good value for money, with extensive pre- and post-hospitalisation cover at a relatively low price.
AXA Shield Plan A’s closest competitor is AIA HealthShield Gold Max A. But AXA Shield’s advantage is that you do not need to use one of the hospitals on their panel in order to qualify for the full pre- and post-hospitalisation duration, which you do with AIA HealthShield. If you have your own doctor you prefer to use or simply do not want to be restricted to hospitals on their panel, AXA Shield Plan A is the clear winner.
As for AXA Shield Plan B, it’s one of the most generous Class A integrated shield plans in terms of pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, but also one of the pricier ones. You might be better off going for Prudential PruShield Plus or Raffles Shield A, which are cheaper but offer similar pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage.
Do you have any experience with AXA Shield? Share your reviews in the comments.